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Post-Holiday Gift Guide: Treat yourself

RYAN GOSLING as K in Alcon Entertainment's action thriller "BLADE RUNNER 2049," a Warner Bros. Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment release, domestic distribution by Warner Bros. Pictures and international distribution by Sony Pictures.  (Photo: Stephen Vaughan)

(KUTV) As we approach the new year I hope all of you had a spectacular holiday season spent with love ones. Here's a look at the gift guides I put together for the holiday season, updated with a few more ideas for those of you who are looking to put those gift cards and end-of-year bonuses.

New DVD and Blu-ray release highlights for December 26, 2017

It's hard to call any week that includes a James Cameron film as slow, but clearly the day after Christmas wasn't seen as a prime day for new releases. "Terminator 2: Judgement Day" is a sci-fi classic. It's also a film that has seen numerous releases on DVD and Blu-ray. This new 4K release, which is sourced from a recent 4K scan done by Studio Canal for Cameron's 3D version of the film that saw a limited release in theaters this year. This release does not include the 3D version of the film, but it does contain a somewhat problematic 4K upgrade to the standard Blu-ray release. It's problematic in the sense that it appears that there has been some digital noise reduction applied to the image that gives the film a waxy look. It's not enough to derail the experience, but I have to wonder when studios are going to learn that attempts to smooth out the natural grain that exists in films that were shot on film strips away the fine detail that fans are expecting to see when they upgrade to 4K. Does it look better than the most recent Blu-ray release? Yes, but not by the margin that I had expected.

Elsewhere we have "The Mountain Between Us," a film that finds Kate Winslet and Idris Elba find themselves stranded when their plane crashes somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. The film is essentially a by-the-numbers survival film that is either better than it has a right to be because of Winslet and Elba or infinitely more disappointing because the material feels well beneath them.

"Flatliners" wasn't screened for critics and while the film might not be nearly as bad as you might have heard, it certainly struggles to be anything more than a generic thriller with a likable cast that probably signed on because the original, which isn't a classic by any stretch, was at least an enjoyable attempt at making a horror film with big ideas about life and the hereafter. This reboot is bankrupt when it comes to big or even small ideas.

Then there is "Killing Gunther," a surprisingly effective mockumentary about hit men who set out to assassinate the world's premier assassin (Arnold Schwarzenegger).

This week also brings the home video release of the well-received Canadian/Irish production "Acceptable Risk," a series about a woman who in the wake of her husband's death comes to realize that she never very little about him, what he did at his job and why he felt the need to carry gun.

New Digital HD release highlights for December 26, 2017

Denis Villeneuve's "Blade Runner 2049," the sequel to the 1982 cult classic "Blade Runner," was an artistic triumph that matched the tone and themes of the original, but offered a completely different story. I love the film, but those looking for a fast-paced action film might be disappointed to discover that this sci-fi noir is more cerebral than it is brawny.

Also coming to Digital HD this week is Jackie Chan in "The Foreigner," a film about a mourning parent who is looking for answers following a terrorist bombing that killed his daughter and "Marshall," a film based on the young adulthood of Thurgood Marshall starring Chadwick Boseman.

Studio Ghibli

For years Disney controlled the Studio Ghibli catalog in North America, but recent releases have all come from Gkids. Now, nearly all of Studio Ghibli's catalog is being re-released by Gkids via Shout! Factory. Many of the releases have additional bonus features that weren't included on the Disney Blu-ray releases. We'll also see some of the more obscure films from the studio's catalog arrive on Blu-ray for the first time.

Suggested reading

A few books that have crossed my desk the past couple of weeks include Alan Sepinwall's "Breaking Bad 101: The Complete Critical Companion," a collection of Sepinwall's popular reaction pieces to each episode of the classic series with additional new and exclusive content; "Basketball (And Other Things)," a best-selling book where writer Shea Serrano tackles some of most absurd questions about basketball with wit and illustrations by Arturo Torres; "Joan Rivers Confidential" is a treasure trove of press clippings, photos, notecards and numerous other odds and ends taken from Joan's personal collection by her daughter Melissa and "My Friend Dahmer" a graphic novel by John "Derf" Backderf, a cartoonist who was friends with Jeffery Dahmer in the 1970s before Dahmer became one of the world’s most infamous serial killers. A film adaptation of the graphic novel by Marc Meyers has played to favorable reviews since its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year.

Additional Gift Guides

Classic Novels, Television and Cinematic Adaptations

A look at current TV and film adaptations of classic novels and related t-shirts from Out of Print Clothing and gorgeous hardcover editions from The Folio Society.

DC Comics

Toys, movies, books and collectables from DC Comic featuring Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn and Batman.

Despicable Me

A variety of despicable toy and movie options from Gru and his minion crew.

Disney & Pixar

Classic movies, toys and more from the Mouse House including "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Coco" offerings.

Last-Minute Gift Ideas

A look at movie releases from December, some Star Wars, Marvel and LEGO Ninjago thrown in for good measure.

Movies on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital HD

"Baby Driver," "Beauty and the Beast" and more in this wide selection of DVD, Blu-ray and 4K UHD releases highlights.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

A brief tour of some of Star Wars toys released over the past couple of months. Including Porgs, R2-D2 and the fantastic new Forces of Destiny line.

Television on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital HD

From "West World" to "The Vampire Diaries," recent and noteworthy TV releases on DVD, Blu-ray and 4K UHD.

Video Games and Electronics

Games, gadgets and related clothing options featuring the latest releases from the worlds of "Star Wars," "Call of Duty," "Assassin's Creed," "Mario," "Overwatch" and more.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter

We might not have a Wizarding World movie this year, but that doesn't mean there are numerous of new releases to consider.


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